Cannes Lions

3D printed meatballs

INGO, Stockholm / IKEA / 2022








IKEA is mainly known for flat packages, meatballs and cheap furniture. However, as the world faces many sustainability challenges, IKEA has taken a new direction with an increased responsibility for the well-being of both individual and planet; because everything starts and ends with the home. The development of new technology will play a crucial role in making it better than it is today. To be able to solve these issues, IKEA needs to recruit more people with technical skills.


But unfortunately, these people don’t see IKEA as an obvious workplace. They look for jobs at the startup industry or tech companies like Amazon, Google and Tesla.


Create awareness of IKEA's focus and that they are looking for 150 people for key tech roles in Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland.


Global attention: impressions (fame)

Get tech people to visit and apply for jobs on IKEA's job portal.


For many years we have heard about 3D printing and the protein of the future. But few have had the chance to try or understand what it means. It's something that tech has been promising for years to solve but few have been able to unlock for the many.

So when IKEA set out to hire 150 tech talents the problem was that these don't see IKEA as a tech company and rather go to the big giants like Apple, Google, Meta etc.

The solution was to take IKEA's iconic meatball and create the meatball of the future and tech applicants for a job interview lunch. It proved that IKEA strives to make sustainable choices available to everyone by using tech. But it would also create debate when people go to the roof when you change something they love and appreciate.



IKEA has thousands of on-going sustainability projects and streams. The main work was on what to focus on based on EVERYTHING that IKEA works with around their new sustainability focus.

One project that was focused on offering 50% plant-based meals in IKEAs restaurants by 2025. At the same time, many reports showed that food is among the biggest culprits when it comes to sustainability. 15% of the total artificial emissions in the world come from the meat and dairy industry. And there, IKEA's is part of the problem.


Even the things we love the most have to change to create a better future.

Key message:

To show that IKEA takes sustainability seriously, their iconic loved meatballs is a clear example of something that will need to change for a more sustainable future. And tech will play a vital role on making it happen.


A few years ago IKEA released a vision of 3D printed meatballs based on only CGI images. But they've never done them for real. And as far is its know 3D printed meatballs have never been done before.

By using plant based components, like soy as protein, experienced Chefs experimented for months to come up with the right ingredients, measures and hardware settings. The objective was to create a meatball that tasted just like the original.

Since so few have tried 3D-printed food, the campaign created something exclusive for the applicants - If you were called for an interview you would be offered to try the new meatballs.

The start of the campaign was one simple post on LinkedIn made by IKEAS global CEO, with a recruitment film. A press release and the film was then sent out to selected journalists, bloggers and influencers. IKEA's employees also became an important channel for reaching out.


16 June 2021 - Workshop

1 July 2021 - Idea presentation

5 July 2021 - Creative Check-in with sponsors

8 July 2021 - Workshop 2

9 July 2021 - Choose idea

1 aug 2021 - Finalising idea and assets

15 aug 2021 - Big reveal


1 sep 2021 - 3D printed meatball development starts

4 December 2021 - 3D printed meatball development finished


28 oct 2021 - film shoot 1

11 nov 2021 - film shoot 3D printer

15 dec 2021 - assets finalized


3 Feb 2022 - Campaign launch

15 March 2022 - Interviews and 3D printed lunches starts


More than 140 articles in 27 countries have been registered.

In total, the campaign generated 5.42 billion impressions worth USD18.3 million. Estimated unique views is around 7 million unique people.

Source: Verizon/Yahoo.


On average, IKEA's job site for tech people had 15 visitors per day before the campaign (around 446 visits per month). 3 weeks after campaign launch, over 23,000 visits had been registered, an increase of more than 500%.


Posts on IKEA's own LinkedIn have an average CTR of 0.2%, the initiative had 1.6%.


In March 2021 IKEA had 3274 applications for tech positions. Three weeks after campaign launch, the figure was up to 5,277. An increase of 61% (more than 2000 people more than before). Remember; IKEA was just looking for 150 people in these significant areas.


The screening of candidates is currently underway. The lunches with 3D-printed meatballs have started and will continue until the summer of 2022.

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